Hector Bellerin

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Why Hector’s planning for life after football

He may only be 22 years old, but Hector Bellerin is already planning for life after football.

The Spain international recently received a diploma in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, and has even discussed creating a marketing agency with his housemate.
“Sometimes football players get into their thirties and start thinking about what they’re going to be doing after,” Bellerin told Arsenal Player. “Suddenly, they might get injured and things are rushed. You end up not playing football and not thinking about what you’re going to do when you retire.
“I’ve known people who have had football taken away from them and have found it hard to know their purpose in life. It’s important to me to have clear things in my mind, even at such a young age, because you never know what could happen with injuries.
“It’s not just with age. A friend of mine had to stop football because of a cardiac arrest when he was really, really young. These things happen in football, so you always have to be ready for it.
“Hopefully, if God wants me to finish my career in my later years, I will have all these years to keep learning other things and have the clarity in my head of knowing what to do.”


Bellerin - The team talk I’ll never forget

Hector Bellerin has heard thousands of team talks over the years, but there is one which will always stick in his memory.

The Spain defender was one of 18 first-team players getting ready for kick-off in our Wembley dressing room ahead of May’s Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Antonio Conte’s side had just been crowned Premier League champions, although the Blues were being heavily tipped for the double, Arsène Wenger’s rallying team talk gave Bellerin and his team-mates the confidence they needed to win the trophy for a record 13th time.

“We’ve had loads of team talks,” the 22-year-old told Arsenal Player. “I can’t remember all of them but I remember more the positive talks and the talks that can change a game at half-time. That stays with you more than being shouted at.

“Being shouted at will probably get a reaction out of you in the short term, but the [inspirational talks] you have even before games, important games and finals, that’s what sticks with you, but the most important ones are the ones that the players express their feelings in. That’s something that should always stay in the dressing room.

“The FA Cup final team talk was a very meaningful and emotional speech. You know how much it means to the boss. There’s a lot of criticism on him and in finals like Chelsea, the year they had won the league, everyone was on their side.

“The boss was just getting into our head that we could do it, have the potential and that we are a great team and if we play our football it could be ours and that’s the way it was and I think that emotion and that meaning in those words really stuck in our heads.”


Bellerin - Ozil makes everything so much easier

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil was in scintillating form during our 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

The Germany playmaker claimed the 45th assist of his Arsenal career when setting up Shkodran Mustafi’s opener, and made more key passes than anyone on the pitch at Emirates Stadium.

Hector Bellerin spoke about Ozil’s influential performance, beating Tottenham and setting the bar high after the game:

on whether he’s ever seen Ozil play better in an Arsenal shirt…
Mesut is someone who gets a lot of criticism, but the players who are around him are very happy to have him and play with him. He makes things easy for you. People sometimes talk about his body language, but he gives everything for this shirt. The players who play around him know that he makes everything so much easier.

on beating Spurs…
It feels really good. We’ve been working really hard over the past week. Obviously we had people going to play internationals and playing for their lives ahead of the World Cup, so it’s been a hard few days. We’ve done really well and we’ve shown what we’ve worked on. I’m proud and very pleased for everyone.

on whether that’s the standard we have to hit every week…
Of course. That’s what we’re trying to do. Sometimes, for different reasons, we haven’t been able to do it, but this is how we set the bar and show what potential we have. That’s what we’ve got to work hard to do every single week, week in, week out.

on whether we approached this as the most important game of the season…
After a tough start, we were building up really well with good results. There’s always a lot of talk but I think it was one of those games where we showed what we could do. We shut some mouth as well. There are people who talk a lot and now, after watching that game at home, they’ll be thinking that these guys have a chance. 

on whether the talk of a power shift in the build-up hurt a bit…
Not at all. You have to talk on the pitch, not in the media. That’s how we do it. 

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